Students share latest research on migration for One World Initiative

State Hornet Staff

Students and professors gathered  to celebrate the second annual One World Initiative to share their latest projects and research at the Union Monday afternoon.


Migration was the theme for this year’s One World Initiative which focused on animal and human migration due to mainly environmental factors.


One World is a global education initiative to educate the campus of themes of global importance and is a yearlong dialogue until the end-of-the-year celebration.


“Students need to be aware of how interconnected the planet really is,” said Lisa Hammersley, Chairperson of the One World Initiative and geology professor at Sac State. “We must see different perspectives of a certain topic as the goal of One World is to be inclusive in perspectives.”


Fifty-five students from different majors presented their research projects regarding migration.


Environmental studies Kelly Heal focused her project on environmental refugees and displacement.


Heal’s research showed the three major causes of environmental displacement on human migration through environmental issues, flooding from hurricanes, drought and desertification from extreme temperatures and rising sea levels.


“I believe a major world-wide issue and concern in the future will be droughts and desertification,” Heal said. “We see the effects in the United States which are very minimal but still in effect. Where I live, you are only able to water your lawn on two days of the week because of water restrictions.”


Heal said droughts and desertification in the United States is not as severe as compared to the rest of the world, mainly the Middle East.


“We don’t see the impacts here as people in Middle East, which is tremendously sad with what they deal with on a daily basis,” Heal said. “Their whole lifestyle has been uprooted. Their ways of life have changed as they have had to move to refugee camps.”


As environments are being destroyed by degradation and environmental disaster, environmental studies Professor Michelle

Stevens said he wants to remind students of the present issues of the world that affect communities today.


“The most important thing California and the United States are dealing with is our own refugees in our own cultural communities,” Stevens said. “Because of the droughts, there is no water for agriculture meaning there are no jobs, all driven by climate change in the whole world.”


Stevens correlates migration and environmental issues as it creates issues for communities and populations everywhere.


“If there is no water and no way to share, people will suffer,” Stevens said.


Communications major Mostafa Aniss presented an idea of his own regarding a solution for helping environmental refugees.


The idea being that 25 percent of the world’s population donates five dollars each, amounting to 9 billion dollars, divided by however many refugees are in need of help.


“A lot of times we are not aware of just how fortunate we are, we take things for granted as we can go home, take a nap and feel safe,” Aniss said. “We don’t understand that some people don’t have that option and it’s not because of the choices they made but because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time.”


Aniss asked people to be empathetic to people’s situations because of natural disasters.


“We would realize that if it were us in a disaster, we would want their help too,” Aniss said.